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Inside Washington

News/Business. Round-table discussions feature nationally recognized journalists. (CC)

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Gaddafi 5, Wisconsin 4, U.s. 3, Newt Gingrich 3, Mr. Snyder 3, Afghanistan 2, Westboro 2, Iraq 2, Geico 2, Muammar Gaddafi 2, Ben Franklin 2, Libya 2, Obama Administration 2, Kansas 1, Callista 1, Ohio 1, America 1, Mar Phelps 1, Usa 1, Lostt Legitimamacy 1,
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  ABC    Inside Washington    News/Business. Round-table discussions  
   feature nationally recognized journalists. (CC)  

    March 6, 2011
    9:00 - 9:30am EST  

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>> we found out today that we can no longer very our dead in this country with dignity. >> this week, the supme court comes down ifavor of a free speech, even if it is hateful speech. >> shohot of all that talk on infliction of emotional distreress. >> congress gives the government running for two weeks. >> passing a spending bill for 14 days is not anything to celebrate. >> the give congress s four wee,
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they wouldake four weeks, six weeks, thewill t take six weeks. >> in libya, what to do about that not a? >> , muammar gaddafi needs to step down from power andeave. >> what is next for newt gingrich? what about the white house? >> we will look at this very riously and methodically laid out the framewework of what t we will do next. captioned by the nationalaptioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- >> this one makes your blood boil, makes my blood boil. the 20-year-old u.s. marine lance corporal matthew snynyder died in iraq, non-combat. in 2006 as friends and family were bearing the young marine, members of the westboro baptist church of tobacco, kansas,s, showed up to inform the world that the lance corporal debt w g's punishme for this
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nation's tolerance of homosexuality. they held up signs called thank god fofor dead soldiers, god has the usa, thank god for 9/11. his father sued the members of the church for, among other things, emotional distress. a jurur awarded him $11 million, reduced of 5 million and in heels scored three of the verdict and this week the supreme cot ruled 8-1 that as hurtful the speechas, it is nevertheless protected by the first amendment. as "the wall street journal" put it the other day, even jerks are protected by the first amendment. did you agree? >> the court agree remember the word empathy? you have empathy for mr. snyder t the court to job is not necessarily to have empathy, it is to say what the rules are that govern the country. essentially what they said was the first amendment is not for speed you all agree with. it is for the fringes. if we allow it t to be curtailed their, then we won't have a free
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debate. >> i agree, the cliche of the glory of the first amement is it for tax hateful speech, otherwise you don't need it for free speech that is okay and accepted. but it sheds light and the corn of our lives, university, that have had the speech codes, what the law does not reach in and do what it did in this case, which is vindicate free-speech. you had a great curtailmes speechrecisely on th grounds of hurtful speech. and i ink it has been n a bane. not something i thihink we shoud put -- beat -- should be proud . the court got it right. >> you would think the university would be the absolute center of free speh. the whole liber arts idea. it is not. it is where political correctness still reigns and the students are afraid of sayaying things. the very place where they ought to be freest,hey are not. and so, i think this vindicates
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-- i agree. it wasas 8-1, an easy case. >> mark? >> 8-1. identify with your empathy. good thing i was not a core because i would have voted with sam ato and would have had aa tough time explalaining that at home. but i really understand the family's reaction. i thi the court in the final analysis was clear headed. >> here is albert s snyder. far as is concecerned, the juices that led against him did not have theense that god gave goat. >> thisourt has n no problem with the government sending our children over too t these award, send them back in a bodyy bag, and not en have enough respect for that dead soldier to be buried peacefully. >> i am tellin you, the pickets quadrupled and exponentially the coverage increase. so, thank you, mr. snyder.
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now, your son sti guide for your sins. you still have to obey. >> that very articulate person is mar phelps, a member of the church and the person who argued the case before the u.s. supreme court. the phelps have taken about $100,000 of legal fees from mr. snyder. it will have to pay queioof >> i am confident that people will raise money to pay whatever those fees are, if inact the law firm wants them. i entered it of a protagonist in this and your heart just went out to the family -- i interviewed all of the protagonists in this. you saw the court at the ol argument struggling with this. theyould have loved to have ruled for them but there was n o way. >> 48 states, 42 u.s. says it -- senators, veteran groups cited what albert snyder to protect what they called a psychological terrorism. but a lot of news organizations sided with the other sidide, citing first amendment
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protections at the opposite -- a celebrity justice a little said the phelps' or engaged in fighting words, that is not protected. >> the first amendment is not a suicide pact, as justice jackson said. there are some limits. it is not absolute. you cant screen fire in a crowded theater. but the limits of restricting speech is pretty far out there. it has to be pretty outrageous for the e courts to rule. remember when the nazis were marching -- >> our people burned the american flag? >> it is well established limits are way out there of what is permissible. you have to do something outrageous and dangerous. >> it is a ca like this that makes you want toto recommend extra-legal remedies. we used to call that a possee or something. not recommending it. i say it wistfully. but therere areo ways legally in this kind of republican that we have to do anything other than
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whathe court had decided. and i wish it would apply in other corners of american society, because it is not awar >> extralegal remedies -- >> i did not think necsarily the doctor is recommending that. the blood b boils -- the blood does boil. >> what you have to ununderstand about the westboro baptist church is they are very shrewd. they don't believe in civil disobedience but they do believe in publicity. they always alert authorities in advavance. they do exactly what they are told. they stand where they are supposed to. they actually fold up the tent before the fununeral actual begins. but the alertining authorities also brings ermous publicity. >> iacts to show you how lenient and tolerant we are in granting protection, the chuh protection for groups. this is obviously a cult of t cases but almost anybody can get
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a group of nutcakes and problems of the church and get all kinds protections, , like from taxes. itit is not true of other countries, but here. we have a wide interetation of freedom of speech andd religion >> the supreme court -- or "the wall street journal" called them jerks but we could think of wall street journal" called them jerks but we could think of other words but we are on tv. [music playing] america's beverage companies are working together to put more information right up front... ng new calorie labels to every single can, bottltl and pack they produce... so you can make the choice that's right for you.
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>> threat of a government shutdown. >> i have been reading this for weeks, and i chuckle. this is a stalngacti from house republicansns because they are unwilling to enter into serious negotiations. it has great consequences to dodoing business. >> in business for a couple of weeks anyway. for the record, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.9%, 192,000 jobsdded -- b by the way, 30,000
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jobs lost in state andocal governments. we can talk about that. this week members ofongress return from a well-deserved rest to fund theeovernment for a couple more weeks. what hapns athe end of two weeks? >> i guessss the danceoes on. clearly the obama administration is not doing what other loudmouths wanted to do -- this is a slow dance. and they are trying to nor the republicans into a bipartisan process to ruce spending. this is going to bounce along for weeks and weeks. apparently without the kind of confrontation that is going to stop government altogether. >> it is interesting to me that and all the public polling, you don't see johnn boehner becomin a a lightntning rod. he is doing what a leader is supposed to do. he i behind the scenes operating. you know, heay not be nobel prize winner for his intellect, but he ienorusly successful at the balancing a -- i is
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majority and the federal government hasot closed down. if it does, i think it is a failure. but hehe managaged to w walk the tightrope. >> he hahas no membs he has to dealith, s some of whom not rey to compromise. >> in an exclusive interview with "the wall street journal" on thursday, john boehner crossed the thirdail, he is committed to a budt in th spring but does reduce social security and mededicare spendin more a and thenas been fortoming from the administration at any point that i can see. or anybody else in a position of leadership. he said, i know this is going to be touough but it is up to us. he also said at the same time -- a warning shot to his own caucus --nd it is a responsibility to pass the debt ceiling. we have to do it or it threatens the united states economy. a groan of behaving. >> if he had gone to page a55 in
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"the wall street journal" he uld have seen the new nbc "wall street journal" poll where the majority said to not touch social security and medicare. >> 62%. a total on reality. >> sort of a springtime moment in the middle eads -- middle east and washington, we want to believe in democracy and freedom of the there and here maybe the political parties will step up to the heart problems and a bipartisan a low-key way. will last? i don't know. buit is a good moment. >> i think it is happening in the statate level in wisconsin, ohio, and elsewhere and in the national level you are getting republicans, as mark indicated -- not the president, who in the state of the union and budget did not do a thing about social security or r medicare or tax reform or anything large and important -- allll the stuff we are doing now is really small ball. we have a deficit of $1.65
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trillion and what t we did was reduce the debtt by $4 billion. and literally a rounding error. the rublicans, led by paul ryanan, decided in the leadershp theyill actually produce and propose a budget in april that will cut entitlements. that is new and the democrats are laying in wait. a cynical game. let the republicans -- and then demagogue them and win in 2012. >> preciselyly the question. is this just a g game, a son of l game to ral the republicans out so they can hammer them fothrowing granny in the snow or is an honest effort to engage in negotiations? i did not know what the secret plan of the obama administration is. it could be cynical. i suspect it was cynical but i am starting to wonder. >> is it a trap, mark? >> i did not know it is a trap. a couple of facts will we talk about the alarm. social security is funded uil
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2037. even with th incncreases. medicare is funded uil 2029. neher one is going broke this year. they have to be addressedand they have to be confronted. the democratic pollster p it well -- americans have more government t than they are willg to pay for. yocan talk about 25% of gross domestic product being spent by e federal government -- which is a lot by historical standards. but t when you are taxing people at 15%5% of gross domestic product, you are kidding yourself if you did not put taxes on the table. that is a true reality. >> that is the third rail, taxes on the table. >> one of the things i think has happened is that -- i don't agree with charles, needss to say, about wisconsin -- but i think it has been a leveling influence. i n't think this has been a successful ment for the governor in wisconsin. his numbers have gone down. it has galvanized nationally the democratic base.
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so, there are dangers to too much of a conontation. and i think that scene is still -- in wisconsin, good for everyone to have seen it. >> 62%f americans oppose th efforts of stripping the room workers of collectiv bargaining. >> i would not measure that by the results of a pole. i would measure as to whether the state remains solvent or not. that is what i think it is about. sendly, marketet talk about social security and medicare as solvents. you believe that only if you believe that in the lock box in virginia, where social security trust fund s supposedly exist is real money. it's got little iou's, promises. there is not a penny in there. social sececurity is a pay-as-y- go system. and right now this year it tips from having a surplus int going into debt. and it will read that. >> the poll that you cited, "wall street journal" nbc poll -- great respect to abc and
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times and everyone els to read the polls -- republican and democrat. that w an honest question. two out of three voters want collective bargaining for public employees. including that of the one-third of republicans do. so, the governor is right now, not talking about solvency. he is trying to break of collective barargain
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>> the violence must stop. muammar gaddafi has lostt legitimamacy to lead and he must leave. >> what are the chances that in his desperation that gaddafi just starts to kill people? we all admit that he is insane. >>ohn mccain. there is our dilemma. gaddafi must go but how do you get rid of a madman? >> you h have to hope e that the libyans themselves will do it.
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although it looks l like it may end up either as a stalemate where you u are going to have an east and west libya, two countries, or you could have a vevery long and prolonged civil war. ours was four years. thesdays to not have to end in 18 days as it ended in egypt. the debt limit we had is do we want to comt to one side. if it looks like a doctor was almost gone and all he knew it was a push of a father, a push on a fan offheir, controlling air r space and allowing the rebels to counter attack, you may say, s. but you have to think of contingencies. what if gaddafii hands-on after we impose a no-fly zone? we are then in a civil war that could be endless. >> they are not easy. yet to take out air defenses. >> > it is a big country, a majr mitary operation. somemehow the great commandos in congress, never anywhere near
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miliry servicehave an ideaa you can sort of do it magically with aircraft. you can't. let's be very blunt about this. the experieience of thiss county has had in iraq and afghanistan have made us invasion averse, casualty averse, d occupation averse. we will not hahave a fourth wart this point. >> secretary gates really did give a wake-up reality call in his testimony this week. the other thing is, you can''tt just pum weapons income even if you decide on one side, because they can end up on the wrong side as we saw in afghanistan. >> in 1986, we tried to kill gaddafi. . member, he relented to the terrorist attack in berlin? we sent an air strike, we missed his 10th -- did not kill l him t killeded one of his daughters. there is no such thing as a surgical strike. these things are hard to do.
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>> by the way, i read t this wek that the case of pan am on three103 on gaddafi is still open. >> one reason toto gillen is he deserves it, and w we owe him. if you don't have a bureaucrat in libya who wakes of the morning andecides i will explode an american airplane. it all emanates out of gaddafi. explode an american airplane. it all emanates out of gaddafi. the one behind it.
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>> wt you he lived through 42 1/2 longueurss the most systematic del derate obstruction o justice, cover- up, effort to avoid the truth, we have ever seeeen an american history. >> able 27, 1998. house speaker newt gingrich on the and treatment of bill clinton. ne gingrich, as mark shields
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pointed out, complaint clinton made him right on the back of the air force one and afterward "the new york daily news" label and a ybaby but they did work together and accomplish things. what are the odds of a new gingrich count -- candidacycy? >> letet's hope. it would be good. he ctainly has the cacity to raise money. he as -- has a temporary position. exploratory stag a little tension in his son's death -- political guy said he would announce an exploratory committetee and the press guide said he wasn't, and basically didn't. but t he did recommends a websie that h he, and mrs. gingrich, callista, has. unfortunately and has a total of a crowd waving flags, smiling, racially and ethnically -- but it is from ted kennedy's website, which is kind of interesting for an orinal thinker. >> but a nice shot.
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>> i will not comment on what mark set aa commentator, but i will say your introduction was model of impartiality. >> thank youou. >> crybaby, in patient. . look, is iss a guy of considerablele achieievement. he won the house for the republicans for the first time in two generations. it is not a mean achievement. he hadome ccesses. he andhe president. essentially gave birth to the most important social legislslation at that time, avolition of welfare. he is not exactly the kd of man who will win the republican nomination. he is to all over the place and have a lot of baggage, but he is an interesting and serious guy and i want to commend you onhe way you evenhandedly. >> im glad you enjed it. >> newtingrich's a man of such enormous contradictions. a person of considerable
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intellllect who has great organizational skills and can be really smart, and is also an inspirational -- but also can be incredibly cynical. a man whooves to sort of used the social wedge issueues to his advantage and the advantage of the republican party but w who s s own family story t that will not withstandnd easy y scrutiny and there are many more. he is like out of the novel. >> listening to a lecture about ben franklin this week. ben franklin, onef the greatest scientists of the 19th centur greatt diplomat, had a horrible family life. what is interesting, -- i agree with charles, newt gingrich in the world ofdeas and politics has contributed a lot. the factory has a rotten family life is kind of sad but notot without -- >> more than family life. this guy has more baggage than united van lines. he was brilliant that had two
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mutinies and had to leave as speaker. yes, he was the architect and engineer of the takeover but he obviously was not and if -- effective leader to the point where his own troops rebelled against him. >> he left behind a little, some landmark legislation -- he and clanton together. and that is quite an achievement if you are an insurgent. he was a good politil leader. but i do not -- noting how shrinking the republican field. mitt romney, new gingrich, perhaps pawlenty. >> last word. see
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